Monday 15 April 2013

Quinoa, chicken, date & grape salad

I bought my second copy of the New Zealand magazine Dish last month. For the most part it is similar to Delicious but it does also include some tutorials on techniques. I think this is great. Not only do you get some awesome recipes but you also learn new skills. The article/tutorial in this issue is about preparation of sashimi. It includes details on the best fish to use, the best knives to use and how to care for them and then it goes through the techniques. If I liked fish and could get actual fresh fish then it would be really good for me. :-) It is still really interesting though. 

There are a number of things similar to Delicious including the recipe book reviews, new foods, promotions of local goods and produce. One difference that I think is great is that instead of just a letters page they have a "Dish Snaps" sections where readers take photos of the meals they have made from Dish magazines. There is a prize, just like with readers letters (emails) in Delicious however since it is a foodie magazine the photos of people's creations are a terrific way to do it. 

I find that there is a great range of recipes in the magazines. The first issue that I bought was one of the winter issues. The range of winter dishes in it was wonderful. I made a few of them, one didn't work out as planned but still tasted really good. I really couldn't decide what to make from this issue. I, of course, wanted to make heaps of things but then there is heaps of things that I want to make from all over the place. I must have 100 or 200 recipes bookmarked to make. Some of them will never get made but they are there if I want them. There is over 100 issues of Delicious magazine that 99% have recipes to make marked. There are recipes that I have saved over on that I want to make and there are also a bunch of cook books that have even more recipes. 

The one section I was looking at was Grill Master since I recently bought myself a new barbecue. There is a number of recipes which also include side dishes to go with them. I was looking at making the Italian burger which is made with veal mince patties that have all the usual things in them plus toasted & ground fennel seeds. While cooking a slice of mozzarella on top to melt and then served on a toasted bun with rocket, tomato and pesto. The recipe for the pesto is also given. Along with the burgers a side of a Caramelised carrot, corn and coriander salad. I have said before that I don't like coriander but I will admit that I have "gone to the dark side" and am eating small amounts of it. I wouldn't use the whole amount recommended in the recipe but I would use a small amount. The carrots are also done on the bbq so a test out all round. 

What I did end up going with for my first recipe was the Quinoa, chicken, date, red grape & hazelnut salad. I didn't have hazelnuts but did toast a few macadamia nuts and used those. It was a very good lunch time dish although I did find that the combination of the dates and grapes made it a bit sweet for me. I think if I was to make it again I would use one or the other but not both and add some extra greens into it. For the dressing, like most other dressings, I didn't use all the oil in the recipe. I also didn't put all of the dressing on. I find that most recipes have too much dressing and it would be swimming if all of it was used.

Quinoa, chicken, date & grape salad


500 g free range boneless, skinless, trimmed, chicken thighs 
1 c quinoa 
2 c vegetable or chicken stock
300 g green beans, ends trimmed, halved 
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced 
6 fresh dates, roughly sliced 
big bunch of red seedless grapes, halved 
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted & skinned


1 cloves garlic, crushed 
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
1 tsp salt  
2 tbsp olive oil

Place in a jar with some freshly ground black pepper & give it a good shake. 


Season chicken with salt & pepper & cook over a medium heat until golden and cooked through. Set aside until cool, then slice. 
Bring stock to boil and then add quinoa and simmer for around 10 minutes. Cool and drain.  
Blanch beans and then refresh in cold water and drain. 
Combine all the ingredients, refrigerate for an hour or so for it to let flavours combine. 

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